Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Differences over flag and constitution need not delay a solution

Prime Minister Modi should deliver on election promise of honorable solution
In our understanding of the current status of negotiation, the Naga flag and constitution has not been completely rejected, contrary to some media reports suggesting otherwise. Rather, the GoI has made a counter-offer to recognize a cultural flag and the Naga Yezhabo.
The Naga Rising humbly submits that the apparent differences over the nature of recognizing a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas should not be a reason to deny a solution to the people.
The Naga Political Groups (NPGs) cannot afford to throw away everything that has been gained over these many years of peace talks. And fighting is no longer a viable option also. The GoI, on its part, should be sincere and honest in acknowledging the history and situation of the Naga struggle.
The Naga Rising appeals to both the Government of India and the Naga negotiators to explore the full range of possibilities towards a peaceful agreement by exhibiting utmost flexibility and accommodation.
At this critical juncture of the peace process, some modalities will need to be evolved by all sides on the question of recognizing the Naga flag and constitution to consolidate the hard earned peace.
Also, while public consultation and opinion of stakeholders is most welcome, at the end it is the negotiating parties-here the Government of India and the Naga Political Groups-who should be allowed to work out the final content and modality.
And thereafter, the finalized content or competencies negotiated with the GoI should be shared with the Naga public before it is signed because the support of the people would be most vital for the success of the peace accord.
‘A solution that honours Naga people and respect their political rights’
The ‘Naga problem will be solved’, was what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a rare mention of the issue when he addressed an election rally in Tuensang, Nagaland earlier in February 2018. “…We will be able to find A SOLUTION THAT HONORS NAGA PEOPLE AND RESPECT THEIR POLITICAL RIGHTS…” was what the Indian Prime Minister stated.
Hopefully Prime Minister Modi will walk the talk and deliver on his election promise.
The Naga Rising believes that whatever disagreement that may exist even at this late stage, the way forward towards an honourable and mutually acceptable solution is MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND ACCOMMODATION.
The Prime Minister during the signing of the Framework Agreement described as unfortunate the fact that “the Naga problem has taken so long to resolve because we did not understand each other”.
Much will depend on the wisdom and magnanimity of the Prime Minister of India to address the long felt aspirations of the Naga people.
The Naga Rising would like to remind the formulation offered by the much respected former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who on several occasions mentioned about “peace with dignity and honour”, while referring to the Naga issue.
The hard earned peace process and the Naga people’s investment and trust over the years to find an honourable solution should not be undermined by anyone.
We trust that Prime Minister Modi will take a final decision that is a win-win for all sides.
(This is the second of a 2-part series)
The Naga Rising